Friday, September 5, 2014
A permanent memorial to the Hoboken victims of 9-11 may be one step away from finally becoming a reality.
On Wednesday night, the tenor on this "contentious" issue voted down last March 2013 leading into the November municipal elections appears to have changed dramatically when Councilman Michael Russo voiced his willingness to move the project ahead to completion.
"Let's get it moving as fast as possible.. Let's find a funding source, let's get it done," he urged his council colleagues saying the victim's families deserved it and the permanent memorial was long overdue.
Councilman Peter Cunningham stated the history referencing a bond had been before the council and "that's how it'll get done." Councilman Russo then voices he's fine with that approach to finalize the project.
A fairly polite conversation sees the City Council President Jen Giattino ask for confirmation if Councilman Russo is fine with bonding for the remainder to complete the project, about 500-600K. Councilman Russo voices his consent. (Six votes are required to approve a bond.)
Then the occupant of the fourth ward Timmy Occhipinti council seat turns the discussion into petulant, petty politics pointing the finger at "this administration." Apparently, Timmy wasn't listening to the conversation which took place immediately only seconds before where agreement was the order of the day. (This is pre-November 2013 election Timmy before he saw a drubbing with only 17% of the vote for mayor.)
Councilman Ravi Bhalla follows Occhipinti's political screed by saying it's inappropriate to insert politics and blame Mayor Zimmer. (The 9-11 memorial issue spans three administrations and a temporary memorial was destroyed in a storm more than year back.)
Councilman Bhalla suggests alternative funding could have been offered by Timmy Occhipinti in a budget amendment this year or any year past but notes Occhipinti failed to do so. Then the petulance of interruptions commences. Over and over and over Occhipinti will point the finger and interrupt Councilman Bhalla.
City Council President Jen Giattino attempts several times to have Occhipinti stop interrupting. Finally, she has to search for the gavel to regain order. (Timmy keeps blathering interruptions anyway.)
Was any of this necessary approaching the eve of 9-11?
Talking Ed Note: With the 9-11 Memorial of Light already being tested and up, most Hoboken residents don't want to hear about funding source conflicts. Councilman Michael Russo to his credit voiced support to finalize and complete the project. That should have ended the matter and any immature, petulant nonsense.
One of course would need a clue to count the votes in assent.
Related: MSV's March 2013 story when the permanent 9-11 Memorial was last before the council. It failed on a 4-4 vote.